The (De)Colonial Struggle

DEVS 364/3.0

Old globe in front of a bookshelf


This course will challenge students to critically examine the ways in which colonialism and decolonization has shaped the social, political, historical, and economic landscapes of settler states. The first part of this course focuses on the relational dynamics between the colonizer and the colonized, elucidating how this relationship has impacted historic and contemporary understandings of indigeneity and sovereignty. The second part of the course addresses the various ways that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples work towards decolonization through processes of ‘unlearning’ and re-presencing.

For information on this course, please visit the Global Development Studies Website.


  • Weeks 1-2: Towards ‘Defining’ Colonialism, Settler Colonialism and Decolonizatio
  • Weeks 3-4: Water is Life  
  • Weeks 5-6: Land is Everything
  • Weeks 7-8: Identity, Kin, and Community
  • Weeks 9-10: Womxn, Sexuality, and 2SLGBTQA+
  • Weeks 11-12: Indigenous Art and Decolonization

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:  

  1. Describe how settler colonial realities shape current relations between the State and Indigenous Peoples and the role of decolonization in redefining these relations;  

  1. Critically reflect on positionality and its alignment with one’s roles and responsibilities in the struggle to decolonize;    

  1. Examine how colonization has shaped the histories and ongoing lived realities of specific groups of individuals including Indigenous women and 2SLGTBQA+ Peoples;  

  1. Analyze how colonial ideology constructs the land and water, and how decolonial theories/practices aim to restore and privilege Indigenous concepts and relationships with the physical world and prioritize land and water as fundamental to all issues, personal histories, and ontologies;   

  1. Examine how Indigenous and settler peoples work collaboratively to resist settler colonialism to move beyond it towards a different reality that centers balanced, respectful, and healthy ways of being; and   

  1. Discuss how Indigenous art intersects with Indigenous research and activism in ways that support Indigenous agency.  


Winter 2025
Course Dates
Delivery Mode
Online Synchronous


15% - Self-Location
15% - Relationship to Place Video
40% - Module Reflection (x6)
30% - Multimedia Creation

*Evaluation subject to change*

Textbook and Materials

All course readings, podcasts and videos will be available to you electronically via the course site.  

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a week (120 hours per term) in study, listening and online activity for this course.